Three exploding cars in two days? what's going on in the UK? Maybe knighting Rushdie was a bit more politically charged than they guessed it would be. (English speakers worldwide are always totally aware of the sensibilities of other cultures and how things might rankle them. As is France Soir)
London is like 2 hours by train from Birmingham. By contrast, Amsterdam is 40 minutes from where I live now and I still couldn't manage to drag myself there this evening.
However, more worrisome are the threats and bombs placed by the US Supreme Court. Ok, so they're metaphorical. But they have a much longer reach. Anti-trust laws? Who needs them? Yeah, I don't see the court acting on corporate abuses any time soon. curses. That with campaign finance, which is closely linked, are probably the two most pressing issues in the US. Which will remain unaddressed or, indeed, worsen for the foreseeable future.
The court ran out of toilet paper in their official WC, but fortunately, the constitution was close by. Earl Warren is turning in his grave. I would rather him as the Chief Justice again, even if it was only feasable as a brain-eating zombie. "mmmmmurrrrrr ..... braaaaaiiiiins! riiights of accused! uuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrg!" Then he eats one of the court clerks. It's sub-optimal, but at least he'll have the right to appeal when he gets brought up on brain-eating charges.
We have maybe the worst president ever and the worst court in at least 80 years and that is a terrible combination. As congress makes feeble, timid attempts to rein in the Bush administration, the courts will undoubtedly end up involved. As we're in the midst of a constitutional crisis, the Supreme Court will undoubtedly get involved. And side with monarchy. The congress can become decorational. sometimes required to rubber stamp things to add a seeming legitimacy. (Oh, wait, that's their role now (gosh, I miss 'gridlock'))
I want to know What In Hell is going on in the US? A town in the south is trying black kids for attempted murder after they shoved a racist white kid shortly after nooses were hung from a tree in warning? Have they fallen through a 50 year wormhole? There's a best selling book called The South Was Right and it's about the civil war?! The south explicitly said in their statements of sucession that they were splitting to preserve slavery. Slavery was right?? One of the republican front runners has a white supremacist high up in his campaign staff?
Let's be clear here. All of the horrible stories of racism coming out of the US are also, often, blatantly sexist. People notice and comment on the racism. The sexism largely goes unnoticed. I bring this up to note that racism and sexism are very strongly linked, although racism is often more blunt and more violent, the two walk hand in hand as twins. White twin brothers.
Sometimes people ask me when I'm coming home again. I want to know where my home went. Dude, where's my country? Even the Onion has gone right, "joking" this week that Moore's new film lacks objective, balanced journalism. Muckracking may not be "balanced," but that usually reflects a certain lack of 'balance' in the facts.
I'm not coming home until the majority of people are not even momentarily willing to consider that a system of chattel slavery was "right." And acknowledge that people have a right to health care. One of the questions that used to bother me was, "how do you tell when it's time to leave?" We all know the myth of the frog in slowly heating water, not knowing when to jump out. Well, the frog will jump out. The risk isn't passively being cooked. The risk is waiting to jump out until after somebody puts the lid on the pan. Things that should invoke panic are: overturning of Miranda (protecting the rights of accused), overturning of Brown (ended school segregation) or overturning Lawrence and Garner v. Texas (the recent decision that struck down sodomy laws). If any of those go, make a run for the border.